The quarterly RE Commission meeting was held last week at the Double Tree at Sea-Tac. Several schools were in attendance (Wash REALTORS®, Rockwell, Professional Direction, Washington’s Best and Evergreen Professional) as well as a number of Designated Brokers and agents.
The Audit Department shared some notes on what they are seeing across the state:
Failure to keep receipts – both listing and selling office must have receipts in the transaction file and a copy of the receipt should be given to the buyer and seller
Property Management companies – must have a monthly reconciliation of all funds held in trust. There has been an increase in firms failing to reconcile balances and ensure consumer funds are maintained and available.
Failure to keep a clear, accurate transaction log – which must included Broker’s Price Opinions (CMA’s), failed sales, rejected offers and agreements signed by only one party as well as all listings, purchase and sale agreements, leases and business opportunities.
Violations of Assumed Names – Assumed Names (DBA) must be registered with the DOL Real Estate Division. And if an agent or team wishes to use only their name on their advertising that name cannot be used without the appropriate license in place issued by the DOL Real Estate Division.
Lack of correspondence in files – emails, text messages, faxes, instance messages, social media discussions – all MUST be kept in the firm’s file.
Earnest money violations – If you include a copy of the EM check when sending the offer to the listing office you are declaring you HAVE the EM check in your possession. Make sure you keep it and deliver it as defined in the Purchase and Sale Agreement. If the buyer is delivering the check the selling agent is still responsible for ensuring it is deposited on time.
DOL is working on new guidelines for advertising that will have visual examples which should help agents and firms understand what is acceptable and not acceptable.
As the DOL moves further into an all online presence they are also working on making their systems mobile friendly. More than 50% of agents access information on a mobile device.
The next RE Commission meeting is Sept 13 at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park in Spokane and Dec 6 at the Double Tree, SeaTac. Meetings start promptly at 9 a.m.